Instructing at a drawing workshop this week.
I get this question a lot, “what is the best way to improve my drawing?” There is only one answer– “Draw.” Most of what you draw in the beginning is not very memorable, take these first drawings and put them away for a year. Keep drawing, then compare your new drawings to the old ones, there will be a remarkable difference. A great teacher told me “we all have 1,000 bad drawings in us, once you draw the 1000th, they are gone for good” The rest of the advice:
push and pull
lighter lights, darker darks
draw, draw, and then draw some more
Lastly, spend some time on your drawing, it will show in the end. Over a couple of days, about 2.5 hours on this drawing. It sounds like a lot, but the time goes so quickly you may not notice!
“Bubble” Pencil on charcoal paper, 11×14″
This started out as realism, then went abstract, then ended up as Expressionist. While painting it, this scene kept going through my head…
A dangerous business indeed… Chanel No. 5, 16 x 20, wild acrylic on black gessoed canvas.
A more painterly version of a figure than I normally do- this one is called “Alice” after the Elton John song. 16 x 20″ Acrylic on canvas.
I had this great advice from one of my teachers- if it is not working out in paint, try sculpting it. If It doesn’t work out there, draw. If you aren’t getting any good drawings, read. So I took a break and got out the pencils and Copics and came up with these. No masterpieces, but at the end of the day I was surrounded with smiling faces!
Pumbaa cleaned up
Rembrandt soft pastels..nice!
Timon ACEO card
Timon all Sharpied up
end of the day.
Sometimes art is heavy, filled with angst.
(Sidebar, remember that great Sparks song, Angst in My Pants? here’s a link:
So, you have to lighten things up and have fun doing this- here is this week’s post, Spidey as a kid. 12 x 24, acrylic on canvas. A great way to make the red pop out, mix some green in the grey background.
Charcoal is a great medium as it is as fluid as paint, so a smear here and there adds a lot to a line drawing. This is a drawing I did on toned paper– after some drawings from the original concept art for Bambi. 11 x 14, charcoal, conte and chalk on tan toned drawing paper.
What did the Hulk look like as a kid? ….now we know. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12″ Short, sweet, and a fun thing to paint.
<a href=”http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/corvette/all” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>corvette art</a>
Painting on a larger canvas has its advantages- one is not having to use a magnifying glass to paint nostrils or pupils or the little things in ears. An advantage of painting a small work is that a little color makes a big impact. I used the red to set off all that blue on the figures and in the background. The red is the amazing Gamblin Cadmium Red Light- one of the colors I no longer can do without. Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse, 11 x 14 oil on canvas.
This weeks painting features Victor von Doom, aka Dr. Doom. Not the finance guy, the original. Few people can pull of referring to themselves in the third person and not sound silly, but Victor is one of them. One of my favorite Dr. Doom quotes:
“From our previous encounter, lackey, I owe you vengeance.” He’s awesome that way.
I had Dr. Doom in this painting in a classic pose, with a grayed background. It looked like he was standing underground, or against a warehouse wall. It came to me in a flash that
1. He is in Latveria
2. It’s freezing there
3. Doom probably withstands cold and wind ok.
So here he is in a snowstorm, I completed this with another painting and had to remind myself not to glaze it at the same time. You can keep notes as you create art in a neat notebook or you can leave yourself glaring reminders of where you are in your process. Here is my reminder not to varnish the painting early, sounds like Victor said it:
If you took all the pigments in the color spectrum and mixed them together, what color would you make?
Every spring, Gamblin Paint collects a wealth of pigments from their Torrit Air Filtration system. They filter the air around the areas where workers handle dry pigments so that they are not exposed to pigment dust. Rather than sending the expensive pigments into the landfill, Gamblin paint makers recycle them into “Gamblin Torrit Grey”. The result is a little different each year, and they have a competition for artists to use Torrit Grey, black and white as the only hues. Check out the entries at Gambincolors.com, and head to Jerry’s or Dick Blick and get your own tube and enter!
One quick tip that I learned from Erik– Mix your colors using a value scale, about five shades of grey and white and black. Prepping your colors before you start painting will give you a profoundly different result than mixing as you go. My own tip- start painting with the darkest value and save the lightest for the end.
Gamine, 8 x 10 painting, oil on canvas.